Webinar on Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage for the 2021 Crop Year

The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill. Producers must enroll  in ARC/PLC for the 2021 crop year through their local Farm Service Agency office. Producers can amend the program elections they made for the 2019 and 2020 crop years for the 2021 crop year. The signup period for the 2021 crop year is open now, and the deadline to enroll and make amendments to program elections is March 15, 2021.

If changes are not made by March 15, 2021 deadline, the election defaults to the programs selected for the 2020 crop year with no penalty. Producers will have the opportunity to amend program elections again for the 2022 and 2023 crop years.

Producers again have the option to enroll covered commodities in either ARC-County, ARC-Individual, or PLC. Program elections are made on a crop-by-crop basis unless selecting ARC-Individual where all crops under that FSA Farm Number fall under that program.… Continue reading

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Learning from 2020 to prepare for 2021

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Seed Consultants, Inc.

 2020 has provided Ohio’s producers with another challenging growing season. As Ohio’s growers wrap up harvest, it is important to begin planning for next year and work to minimize the impact of some of the lingering agronomic issues.

One area of concern that can significantly impact yields is soil compaction. Thanks to a pattern of wet spring and fall weather over the last several years, field work has been performed under marginal or wet soil conditions. Agronomists and growers have observed symptoms of compaction such as restricted root growth, stunted crops, deficiencies, and yield losses. Because soil compaction lingers for several years and is estimated to causes as much as 10% to 20% yield loss, Ohio’s growers should focus on alleviating and avoiding compaction in the future. Some compaction can be alleviated through tillage. Deep compaction should be alleviated in the fall with deep ripping.… Continue reading

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Healthy soils suppress pests

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmers who improve soil health increase the amount of soil carbon being stored, and recycled. The increased carbon flow increases microbial numbers and efficiency leading to improved plant photosynthesis. The entire soil ecosystem functions at a higher level.  The overall effects are healthy plants that have less disease and insect issues and higher overall yields.

Soils high in soil organic matter (SOM) allow carbon to cycle in many different forms.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

The soil microbial community adjusts to these changes in the quantity of recycled carbon and nitrogen and this has an effect on the amount of phosphorus, sulfur, and micro-minerals released in the soil.  Many of these trace minerals like manganese, iron, copper, and zinc are essential micro-nutrients needed to suppress disease.  Plants activate plant proteins into enzymes to fight diseases using these micro-nutrients as co-factors. All soils have pathogens but healthy soils can tolerate these pathogens because healthy plants have the ability to fight them off. 

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Spotted lanternfly a growing concern in Ohio

A group of spotted lanternflies, which feed on grapevines, hops, and fruit trees, was recently discovered in Ohio, triggering concerns the pest could become established and spread quickly.

In October, adult lanternflies were found outside a business in Jefferson County, adjacent to the Pennsylvania border.

Adult lanternflies won’t be seen during the winter months because they die off as temperatures drop below freezing. But before dying, the females typically lay 30 to 50 eggs, and come spring, their offspring could begin feeding.

“If there’s anything I’m personally losing sleep over, it’s this insect,” said Maria Smith, outreach specialist in grape production at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Native to Asia, spotted lanternflies were first found in the United States in 2014 in Pennsylvania.

“It’s a ticking time bomb,” Smith said. “They’re taking out acres of grapevines in Pennsylvania. That’s why we’re so concerned about this insect.”… Continue reading

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Corn, soybean harvest wind down

Harvest continued to approach completion as some farmers prepared for next spring, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 89 percent adequate to surplus by week’s end. Average temperatures for the week were 2.3 degrees above historical normals and the entire State averaged 0.52 inches of precipitation. There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 22.

Soybeans were 96 percent harvested by week’s end, while soybeans moisture content was at 13 percent. Corn harvested was 2 percentage points behind the five-year average at 87 percent. Corn moisture content was at 19 percent, the same percentage as the previous week. Winter wheat emerged was virtually complete, ahead of the five-year average. Seventy-two percent of winter wheat was rated in good to excellent condition compared to 73 percent the previous week.

You can read the full report here.Continue reading

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Illinois waterway system reopens to traffic

A major rehabilitation project on the Illinois River has been completed, allowing for the 12 million tons of food and ag commodities that leave the state to resume. This past summer, the Illinois River was shut down to go through necessary infrastructure upgrades with all of the newly completed work accompanied by a price tag totaling roughly $200 million. 

Back in September, corn growers and NCGA staff toured four active construction sites along the Rock Island District including LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, and Marseilles. The inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to the export market, with more than 60% of the grain produced in the U.S. being transported by barge.

Illinois corn grower Terry Smith pointed out that waterways transportation isn’t just more efficient, it also makes the roads safer.

“If you know some of the numbers from just Illinois, Illinois in 2018 had a little over 83 million ton of product move up and down the river.… Continue reading

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Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program provides grant money to 14 Ohio grape growers

Fourteen grape growers in Ohio will receive up to $3,000 per acre in grant money to create new or expand existing vineyards, allowing for more wineries to use Ohio-grown grapes. The Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program (VEAP) allows wineries to invest in and plant high-quality, high-value grapes onsite instead of purchasing them from other states. VEAP is an incentive program created and funded by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC).

The grant recipients are:

• Breezy Vines LLC, Bellaire, Belmont County
• Buccia Vineyard, Conneaut, Ashtabula County
• Clark Farms, West Milton, Miami County
• King Vineyard (name TBD), Lancaster, Fairfield County
• Das Weinhaus Vineyard and Winery, Litchfield, Medina County
• Five Roots Vineyard, Croton, Licking County
• Folck Family Farm, Mechanicsburg, Champaign County
• Overton Valley Vineyards, Burbank, Wayne County
• Quinstock Farm, Port Clinton, Ottawa County
• The Vineyards at Pine Lake, Columbiana, Mahoning County
• Vinoklet Winery, Cincinnati, Hamilton County
• White Timbers, Wadsworth, Medina County
• William White Family, Jackson, Jackson County

Ohio is the sixth largest wine producer in the country, with just over 1,500 acres of vineyards producing and selling 1.2 million gallons, or 500,000 cases, of wine annually.… Continue reading

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The most used crop insurance product

By Gary SchnitkeyNick Paulson, and Krista Swanson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State University

There has been a great deal of innovation in the crop insurance industry since the early 1990s. New products have been introduced, subsidy rates have been increased, and farmers have increased crop insurance use. We summarize trends in crop insurance use for corn, soybeans, and wheat in Illinois with a focus on the multi-peril products that are Federally subsidized and administered through the Risk Management Agency (RMA). In Illinois, over 85% of the corn and soybean acres are insured in recent years. The most popular product is Revenue Protection (RP), a revenue product with a guarantee increase.

Crop Insurance Plans Available for Multi-peril Coverage

In 2011, RMA introduced the COMBO product, which consolidated predecessor plans for providing crop insurance based on farm yields.… Continue reading

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Mann faced challenges of 2020 in term as first female Ohio Corn & Wheat president

By Matt Reese

In the very male-dominated world of agricultural leadership, multiple women in top leadership positions generates a fair amount of attention from the outside looking in, even if it may not from the inside looking out. Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn & Wheat, has often been asked about the current number of women in leadership positions within the organization, including Patty Mann who is serving as the organization’s first female president.

“To be honest, it didn’t really occur to me that we were promoting females up through the leadership chain, they just happened to be some of our best leaders,” Nicholson said. “Patty Mann is our current president and Kelly Harsh is coming in as our vice president to be president right behind her. For these two years, our organization will be led by females who just happen to be great leaders on our board.”

In addition, Gail Lierer from Butler County is the current chair of the Corn Checkoff Board.… Continue reading

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Ohio soybean production and research in 2020

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

Each spring, farmers plant roughly 4.8 million acres of soybeans in Ohio.  Looking back at the past planting season, conditions were vastly different between 2019 and 2020.

“For 2020, planting was much better than it was in 2019,” said Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension state soybean and small grains specialist. “Many areas had very good planting dates, and our soybean trials, that are conducted in six counties, were planted very timely for the most part. Some parts of the state did struggle with wet weather during planting. Some areas in southern Ohio had fields that were flooded after planting, and parts of eastern Ohio struggled as well, but compared to 2019, planting conditions were much more favorable.

“There were definitely areas of the state that struggled with dry weather after planting. That continued in some areas through August and September.

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Ohio State Agriculture Policy and Outlook Conference – Day Three Recap

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

Trade and Macroeconomy Outlooks were the topics for Day three of the 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference sponsored and hosted by The Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

Dr. Ian Sheldon, Professor and Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade, and Policy, in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics began the program by discussing the impact of the pandemic on global and U.S. Trade.

According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), global trade is forecast to decline by 9.2% in 2020, followed by a 7.2% rise in 2021. “Things could have been worse,” said Sheldon. “The April forecast was for a 13% decline optimistically, and 32% decline pessimistically. There is still considerable uncertainty about the trajectory of trade for the rest of 2020 and into 2021, especially now as we see a resurgence of COVID-19.”… Continue reading

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Differentiating RR2 Xtend, XendFlex and Enlist

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

Farmers and the agricultural community have waited patiently since June for a decision regarding the labeled use of approved dicamba-containing herbicide formulations for use within the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend and XtendFlex soybean systems. Fortunately, the wait is over, providing farmers a valuable tool to combat herbicide resistance. 

On October 27, 2020, the EPA announced the registration of XtendiMax, Engenia, and Tavium herbicides for use in dicamba-tolerant crops (RR2 Xtend/XtendFlex soybeans and XtendFlex cotton). In 2021, farmers will have access to more technology choices regarding soybean herbicide tolerances than ever before. While the comfort level and familiarity of many herbicide platforms is high, newer technologies such as XtendFlex and Enlist E3 may not be as well understood.

While Enlist herbicides (Enlist One, Enlist Duo) and the approved dicamba-containing herbicides mentioned above are all growth regulators or auxin herbicides, they do not share the same advantages. Enlist One and Enlist Duo contain 2,4-D choline.… Continue reading

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Reducing soil compaction

By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Indian Summer is here with warmer temperatures and some sunlight as farmers try to finish up harvest. A lot of field work is being done including deep and shallow tillage. A farmer down the road from my house, did some deep ripping on very wet soils. When he left, I think he might have left half the field on the road! Even though we had extremely dry weather this year, recent rains have kept our soils really moist, even muddy. As farmers, we might want to think about what long-term damage that tillage equipment might be doing to our soils. 

The following information comes from an article I co-wrote on “The Biology of Soil Compaction” Journal of No-till Agriculture in 2011.

Soil compaction is a common and constant problem on most farms that till the soil.  Heavy farm machinery can create persistent subsoil compaction. Scientists have found that compacted soils (a) physically restricted root growth; (b) decrease root zone aeration; and (c) reduces drainage, (d) increased losses of nitrogen from denitrification, (e) increases soil erosion. … Continue reading

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Simulating the future of crops and CO2

Five years ago, the United Nations committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030. Since then, however, world hunger has continued to rise. Nearly 9% of the global population is now undernourished, according to a2020 report from the FAO, and climate variability is a leading factor driving us off course. 

Over the past 30 years, a network of 14 long-term research facilities spanning five continents has simulated future levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) to forecast the impact on crops. Importantly, these “Free-Air Concentration Enrichment” (FACE) experiments are conducted outside in real-world field conditions to capture the complex environmental factors that impact crop growth and yield.

A recent review published in Global Change Biologysynthesizes 30 years of FACE data to grasp how global crop production may be impacted by rising CO2 levels and other factors. The study portends a less optimistic future than the authors’ previous review published 15 years ago in New Phytologist.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference – Day Two recap

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

Agricultural and Environmental Policy were the topics for Day two of the 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference sponsored and hosted by The Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

Dr. Brent Sohngen, Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics began the program by discussing Sustainable Supply Chains.

“A growing number of companies have Carbon Neutral goals,” said Sohngen. “Two thirds of the worlds economy want to be carbon neutral by 2050.”

There are multiple reasons why companies have set Carbon neutral goals. The Paris Agreement is one factor. “Many governments have made commitments to carbon neutrality by 2050, so if businesses want to remain in business in those countries, they will have to go along,” said Sohngen. “Consumers and Investors are pressuring companies. People with higher incomes want carbon neutral things, and they can afford it.… Continue reading

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2020 Soybean Performance Trials – Yield Data for Henry, Clinton, and Preble Counties

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff. Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2020-37

The 2020 Soybean Yield Results have been tabulated, and are available from the Soybean Performance Trials for Henry, Clinton, and Preble Counties. The purpose of the Ohio Soybean Performance Trials is to evaluate soybean varieties for yield and other agronomic characteristics. This evaluation gives soybean producers comparative information for selecting the best varieties for their unique production systems each year.

The entries for each test site were planted in a randomized complete block design. Each entry was replicated four times and planted in plots 28 ft long and 5 ft wide containing four rows seeded at 15-inch row width.

The seeding rate was 150,000 seeds per acre. Corn was the previous crop at all locations except in Mercer County where a cover crop was planted into a 2019 prevent plant field.

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NCGA program seeking teachers for a national leadership experience

National Corn Growers Association is working to recognize the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in schools and to the future of agriculture.

NCGA believes agriculture is a vital partner in engaging students in STEM concepts in ways that directly and indirectly impact their lives and the lives of farmers. Not only does teaching an ag-based curriculum in the science classroom inspire students to solve real-world science issues, reaching students is critical to address the job gap in agriculture-related careers, many of which go unfilled.

NCGA and its state corn checkoff programs began investing in making the latest teaching materials and teacher training available nationwide before COVID but quickly shifted gears to more virtual tools with the emergence of the pandemic. If you want to see how checkoff support is helping teachers go to

NCGA is in the second year of investing state corn checkoff dollars in the STEM-oriented initiative called Nourish the Future and is recruiting teachers to participate in the 2021 program.… Continue reading

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November WASDE Bullish

By Doug Tenny, Leist Mercantile

USDA today projected the US corn production at14.507 billion bushels and the US corn yield at 175.8 bushels per acre. Last month US corn production was 14.722 billion bushels and the yield was 178.4 bushels per acres. This month the US soybean production was 4.170 billion bushels and the US soybean yield was 50.7 bushels. Last month the US soybean production was 4.268 billion bushels and the US soybean yield was 51.9 bushels per acre.

Corn ending stocks were 1.702 billion bushels, down 331 million bushels. Soybean ending stocks were 190 million bushels, a decline of 100 million bushels. Corn exports up 325 million bushels with soybean exports unchanged. China corn imports up 6 million tons to 13 million tons.

Shortly after the report was released, corn was up 11 cents, soybeans up 27 cents, and wheat up 10 cents. Just before the report release, corn was up 4 cents, soybeans up 13 cents, and wheat up 8 cents. … Continue reading

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Ohio State Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference – Day One Recap

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

Agricultural Financial Conditions and an Outlook for 2021 were the topics of Day one of the 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference sponsored and hosted by The Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

Dr. Ani Katchova, Associate Professor and Farm Income Enhancement Chair began the program by discussing overriding themes in current farm income and the finance outlook.

“U.S. net farm income and net cash income are forecast to increase for 2020, which is a fourth consecutive year,” said Katchova. “This growth in farm income is mainly driven by higher government payments, while livestock receipts are expected to be lower as we close out 2020.”

Farm income in Ohio has been 2.4 – 2.5% of U.S. farm income but with higher volatility over the last decade.

“U.S. net cash income is forecast to increase by 4.5% and U.S.… Continue reading

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An integrated approach to enhance durability of SCN resistance for long-term strategic SCN management

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff. Adapted from the North Central Soybean Research Program stakeholder report.

The North Central Soybean Research Program funds a number of research projects annually. One of those projects for 2020 is Phase II of “An integrated approach to enhance durability of SCN resistance for long-term strategic SCN management”. This project will benefit soybean producers by creating a long-term management strategy for SCN through knowledge and soybean germplasm development.

The soybean cyst nematode (SCN), or Heterodera glycines, is the most damaging pathogen to soybean production in North America. Current annual yield losses are estimated at more than $1.2 billion. Though SCN-resistant soybean varieties are available to minimize yield loss, producers are faced with limited options for rotation once virulent SCN populations develop in their fields. The widespread lack of genetic diversity for SCN resistance genes in commercial soybean varieties has significantly increased the prevalence of virulent SCN populations and reduced the effectiveness of current sources of resistance.

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